They were continually devoting themselves
to the apostles' teaching.
to the apostles' teaching.
What exactly did the apostles teach?
Undoubtedly it was what they learned from Jesus during the three years they walked with him. And what did Jesus teach? The answer is found in the pages of the four Gospel accounts. Open at random Matthew, Mark, Luke or John to learn firsthand what the apostles were teaching new Jesus followers.
"Teaching them to observe all I commanded you..." was clearly what Jesus expected them to teach. We start with Jesus commands. They are the ABC's of discipleship. When we are obeying what Jesus commanded we are his disciples.
One of the Apostles, John, explained it this way:
It is only when we obey God's laws that we can be quite sure that we really know him. The man who claims to know God but does not obey his laws is not only a liar but lives in self-delusion. In practice, the more a man learns to obey God's laws the more truly and fully does he express his love for him. Obedience is the test of whether we really live "in God" or not. The life of a man who professes to be living in God must bear the stamp of Christ. I John 2:3-6 [J.B. Phillips trans]
Pretty clear, isn't it? The one who professes to be a Christ follower obeys what Christ said to do.
And what did Jesus command his disciples to do? How do we know if we are really his disciples?
Jesus commanded us to...
1. Love God with heart, soul, strength and mind. [Matt. 22:3-40]
2. Love one another and our neighbors. [John 15:12, Matt. 22:37-40]
3. Make disciples of the nations. [Matthew 28:18-20]
4. Seek first his kingdom. [Matt.6:33]
5. Pray for harvest laborers. [Luke 10:2]
6. Observe the Lord's Supper in remembrance of Him. [1 Cor.11:23-36]
7. Follow Jesus example of servant leadership. [John 13:12-15]
8. Abide in Jesus. [John 15:4]
9. Love our enemies. Do good. Don't judge. Forgive. Don't condemn. [Luke 6:27-37]
10.Freely give to others. [Luke 6:38]
We tend to emphasize a lot of other stuff and only give lip-service to Jesus' list. Our own list of "do's and don'ts" consists of things like: Go to church. Read your Bible. Tithe. Witness to the lost. Don't drink. Don't cuss. Don't ______. All good things for sure, only none are in Jesus own Top Ten list.
I have learned that if we start living what Jesus commanded, all the other stuff starts falling into place.
The apostles taught what Jesus taught. Nothing more, nothing less. Do we know what Jesus taught? Are we obeying those teachings? Knowing what Christ taught is one thing; obeying and living that teaching is quite another. Any new follower of Christ who obeys what Jesus said to do is a disciple. But can one rightly be called a disciple who knows these things but does not really obey?
It is not how much we know of the Gospel, but how much we obey of what we know. Knowledge does not make us disciples. Obedience does.